Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

Illicit Discharge Information
An illicit discharge is defined as any release into the drainage system (MS4) of contaminated water, or any non-stormwater discharge that contributes pollutants to receiving waters.

By-law Enforcement

Public Works conducts inspections of stormwater outfalls throughout Town as part of ongoing compliance with our Phase II permit. Article XXXI - Illicit Discharge By-law (PDF) provides enforcement and fining procedures for illicit discharges found within the Town’s MS4. Any discharge deemed a threat to public safety, public health, or the environment is in violation of this by-law and thus subject to a removal order and / or fines by the Department of Public Works, Conservation Commission, Board of Health, or Inspectional Services.

Examples of Illicit Discharges
  • Sanitary wastewater from crushed or collapsed pipes or surcharges
  • Direct septic connections into the storm drain system
  • Overflow from septic tanks, car wash wastewater
  • Laundry wastewater
  • Improper disposal of automobile and household products
  • Bagged or unbagged pet waste
  • Leaves and other debris dumped into open drainage and stream channels
Discharge Exceptions
Exceptions (not considered illicit discharges):
  • Water line flushing
  • Landscape irrigation
  • Diverted stream flows
  • Rising or out-breaking groundwater
  • Uncontaminated pumped groundwater (includes clean sump pump discharges)
  • Potable water source discharges
  • Foundation drains
  • Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges
  • Stormwater runoff from streets and sidewalks
Additional Information
For more information on illicit discharges, view the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission’s IDDE Manual.

For more information regarding the Phase II Stormwater Management Program, contact Stephen Fogg, Town Engineer at 781-786-5115.